|The Response of Ibrahim's People -- and how Allah controlled the Fire|
Allah tells us how Ibrahim's people stubbornly and arrogantly disbelieved, and how they resisted the truth with falsehood. After Ibrahim addressed them with his words of clear guidance,
﴿إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ اقْتُلُوهُ أَوْ حَرِّقُوهُ﴾
(except that they said: "Kill him or burn him.'') This was because proof had clearly been established against them, so they resorted to using their power and strength.
﴿قَالُواْ ابْنُواْ لَهُ بُنْيَـناً فَأَلْقُوهُ فِى الْجَحِيمِ - فَأَرَادُواْ بِهِ كَيْداً فَجَعَلْنَـهُمُ الاٌّسْفَلِينَ ﴾
(They said: "Build for him a building and throw him into the blazing fire!'' So they plotted a plot against him, but We made them the lowest.) (37:97-98). They spent a long time gathering a huge amount of firewood, they built a fence around it, then they set it ablaze until its flames reached up to the sky. No greater fire had ever been lit. Then they went to Ibrahim, seized him and put him into a catapult, then they threw him into the fire. But Allah made it cool and safe for him, and after spending several days in it, he emerged unscathed. For this reason and others, Allah made him an Imam for mankind, for he offered himself to the Most Merciful, he offered his body to the flames, he offered his son as a sacrifice, and he gave his wealth to care for his guests. For all of these reasons he is beloved by the followers of all religions.
﴿فَأَنْجَاهُ اللَّهُ مِنَ النَّارِ﴾
(Then Allah saved him from the fire. ) means, He rescued him from it by making it cool and safe for him.
﴿إِنَّ فِى ذلِكَ لآيَـتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ﴾
(Verily, in this are indeed signs for a people who believe.) Ibrahim, peace be upon him, explains to his people that idols are incapable of doing anything,
﴿وَقَالَ إِنَّمَا اتَّخَذْتُمْ مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَوْثَـناً مَّوَدَّةَ بَيْنِكُمْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا﴾
(And (Ibrahim) said: "You have taken idols instead of Allah. The love between you is only in the life of this world,) Here Ibrahim was rebuking his people for their evil deed of worshipping idols, and telling them: `You have taken these as gods and you come together to worship them so that there is friendship and love among you in this world,'
﴿ثُمَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ﴾
(but on the Day of Resurrection,) the situation will be the opposite, and this love and friendship will turn into hatred and enmity. Then
﴿يَكْفُرُ بَعْضُكُمْ بِبَعْضٍ﴾
(you shall deny each other,) meaning, `you will denounce one another and deny whatever was between you,'
﴿وَيَلْعَنُ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضاً﴾
(and curse each other, ) means, the followers will curse their leaders and the leaders will curse their followers.
﴿كُلَّمَا دَخَلَتْ أُمَّةٌ لَّعَنَتْ أُخْتَهَا﴾
a(Every time a new nation enters (the Fire), it curses its sister nation (that went before)) (7:37).
﴿الاٌّخِلاَءُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلاَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ ﴾
(Friends on that Day will be foes one to another except those who have Taqwa.) (43:67) And Allah says here:
﴿ثُمَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ يَكْفُرُ بَعْضُكُمْ بِبَعْضٍ وَيَلْعَنُ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضاً وَمَأْوَاكُمُ النَّارُ﴾
(but on the Day of Resurrection, you shall deny each other, and curse each other, and your abode will be the Fire,) meaning, `your ultimate destiny after all accounts have been settled, will be the fire of Hell, and you will have no one to help you or save you from the punishment of Allah.' This will be the state of the disbelievers. As for the believers, it will be an entirely different matter.
﴿فَـَامَنَ لَهُ لُوطٌ وَقَالَ إِنِّى مُهَاجِرٌ إِلَى رَبِّى إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ - وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَـقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَجَعَلْنَا فِى ذُرِّيَّتِهِ النُّبُوَّةَ وَالْكِتَـبَ وَءَاتَيْنَاهُ أَجْرَهُ فِى الدُّنْيَا وَإِنَّهُ فِى لاٌّخِرَةِ لَمِنَ الصَّـلِحِينَ ﴾
(26. So, Lut believed in him. He said: "I will emigrate for the sake of my Lord. Verily, He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.'') (27. And We bestowed on him, Ishaq and Ya`qub, and We ordained among his offspring prophethood and the Book, and We granted him his reward in this world; and verily, in the Hereafter he is indeed among the righteous.)
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